Evgeny Kuznetsov added a new wrinkle to his new, super slow shootout attempt Sunday against the Toronto Maple Leafs. And it’s getting attention nationally.
Our dear Kuzy sassily twirled his stick before turning into the human version of a tortoise with knives on its feet. The Russian centerman then deked forehand-backhand nearly two dozen times before depositing a shot on his forehand past Leafs goaltender Erik Kallgren.
Twirly Bird 🦅@Kuzya92 | @Capitals pic.twitter.com/MTkTVpS0WE
— NHL (@NHL) April 25, 2022
Was it a little cocky? Sure. Is it disorienting for a goalie to see a shooter come at you so slow and appear so brazenly confident? Probably. Kuzy’s just having fun out there, you guys!
Some people on social media are debating if Kuzy’s stick twirl for the game because some people hate joy and creativity. “Disrespectful good thing they lost” said one commenter. Another joked, “Don’t let Jay Beagle or Tyson Nash near him.”
With the Capitals badly needing the extra point from the shootout to jump over the Penguins in the Metropolitan Division, the twirl could also just be a way to take pressure off before getting down to business. Who knows?
The biggest news though coming out of the attempt is that Kuznetsov is sticking with The Slow Move. He was already one of the greatest shootout performers in Capitals’ franchise history before. The Birdman has 21 shootout goals — third-most in Capitals history — and his 39.6 shooting percentage ranks third amongst Capitals players who have shot 12 or more times total.
If this move continues to net goals, Kuzy might surpass TJ Oshie as the team’s most effective shooter.
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